ISJ Internation Schools Journal Envisioning the K-Graduate Education Paradigm
ACS Athens

ISJ Fall 2021: How about Internationally-Minded EAL education? / Martyna Elerian


A substantial number of international schools’ (IS) that use English Medium Instruction (EMI) provide education for students from diverse linguistic backgrounds (Sears, 2015). These students often need to learn the language of instruction, i.e. the English Language upon joining the school. If English is not acquired quickly, students are not only missing out on their formal education but also, are being left out on a social level. By not being able to communicate properly, they can feel isolated and marginalised from the school community. Therefore, English as an Additional Language (EAL) education can be considered a major challenge for many IS, yet EAL has not yet received much recognition in the IS research context (Houston & Neal, 2013). Therefore, it is excellent to see that EAL education in IS is starting to be given more attention in academic research, especially with the recent work of Carder, Mertin and Porter (2018) and Spencer (2021). In this article, I would like to contribute to this discourse by sharing some observations on the EAL issue that came as a result of an empirical PhD research that I conducted in IS in Cyprus. I find the findings significant because my research was predominantly focused on the concept of International Mindedness (IM), and thus, I was surprised to see the prominence and impact that EAL had on IM development on an academic and socio-cultural level. Multilingualism, with emphasis on EAL, was often perceived as a major IM component, and all the participating groups found it significant in relation to other IM components: Intercultural Understanding and Global Engagement.[…]